All About Scopes

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Important Scope Terms

Select a scope term below to read more . . .

Coated Optics

Coatings on lens surfaces reduce light loss and glare due to reflection for a brighter, higher-contrast image with reduced eyestrain. In addition, lens coatings can also prevent the glass from fogging and becoming scratched. Most coatings will lead to better light transmission giving you a brighter sight picture, but more coatings are not always better. The quality of the underlying glass will be the main determinant of how clear a picture is shown.

  • Optic Coating Terms:
    • Coated - A single layer on at least one lens.
    • Fully Coated - A single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.
    • Multi-Coated - Multiple layers on at least one lens and all surfaces are coated at least once.
    • Fully Multi-Coated - Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.
  • coated optics

With so many different types of scopes available, it can be hard to select the right scope to fit your shooting purposes. Your specific firearm and how you intend to use it will determine the right scope for you.

At the core, a scope is a magnified ocular device to aid shooting accuracy. Scopes not only allow you a greater degree of precision as a result of the magnification, but also allow a shooter to dial in adjustments for wind and elevation to account for a bullet’s drop and drift.

A rifle scope is usually mounted directly over the receiver of the firearm with some unique features allowing a shooter to shoulder the rifle correctly and still acquire a proper sight picture. When shouldering the rifle a shooter’s face is very close to where the scope will be mounted a short eye relief of somewhere between 3" to 3.5" is required.

Rifle scopes are the most common style of scope and are found on everything from sniper rifles all the way to your grandfather’s old bolt-action rimfire.

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Types of Adjustments

Scope Measure Image

There are two basic types of measurements when it comes to scope adjustments, MOA and MIL. MOA stands for Minute of Angle, scopes with this measurement are normally offered with more precise adjustments than their MIL counterpart as a result of MOA's inch value being much smaller than MIL. One MOA is equal to 1/60th of a degree or 1.047" at 100 yards.

MIL (or MIL-dot) is short for milliradian. One milliradian is equal to 3.6" at 100 yards. The MIL system is popular with shooters that need to dial in adjustments for different distances, but the MOA system is very popular for shooters that are only going to be shooting at a fixed distance.